Sports Columns

New England Patriots, yawn, again reach Super Bowl

The New England Patriots are in the Super Bowl again. That’s three straight appearances and four of the last five. Now this Super Bowl very well could have been the New Orleans Saints vs. the Kansas City Chiefs if not for some questionable calls in both NFC and AFC Championship games. ...

Time to make Hockey Day happen in Michigan

Hockey is a big thing in Michigan — that’s common knowledge. Detroit markets itself as Hockeytown, there are seven successful NCAA Division I hockey programs in the state that are popular in their communities and even Marquette was dubbed Kraft Hockeyville USA in 2016. However, compared ...

Playoffs hard to predict, as they should be

It’s been hard to get a sense of who’s going to win in the NFL playoffs so far, and it doesn’t seem a whole lot easier this weekend, either. Which is just the way it should be. A few years ago when the New England Patriots looked like an unstoppable force, what was the purpose of ...

Time to give kickers a break

Kickers don’t get any respect. Seriously, name any other position in the four major sports that gets forgotten and ridiculed more than place-kickers. If they’re effective, people just say they’re doing their jobs. If they win a game, they’re praised for maybe 24 hours, then quickly ...

Find some experienced quarterbacks

Let’s just say the opening weekend of the NFL playoffs was a cruel mistress, hopefully forgiving any possible misogynistic overtones that might have. Saturday’s games, which I felt less sure about, went just the way I thought and hoped they would, only to watch my predictions crash and ...

Time to free up rules on transfers

The new year has begun and things need to change again in college football. No, it has nothing to do with the College Football Playoff, which I’ve already written about. And no, it doesn’t have to do with a coaching change in Ann Arbor. Jim Harbaugh is there to stay at Michigan for ...

Playoffs what we all look forward to in the NFL

Ah, what we’ve been waiting for this entire NFL season — the playoffs! It’s an uphill battle for each of the eight teams playing this weekend, since after this, they will in all likelihood be playing on the road twice more if they can keep winning. Renee Prusi, who subbed for me so ...

Pro bowling makes TV comeback

Fox Sports started its Professional Bowlers Association coverage with something of a whimper, showing the PBA Clash on the Sunday before Christmas after the National Football League’s 1 p.m. games. I knew the PBA was coming to the Fox networks, but I never saw a promo for this event. ...

Saying goodbye to a mentor

It’s not easy to say goodbye to someone. When someone meaningful to you dies, it’s hard to put into words how important he or she was to you and still are after that person is gone. I’ve struggled with that a lot recently. Last week, my former journalism professor at Indiana ...

There’s 3 kinds of NFL teams left

Let substitute Armchair Quarterback Renee Prusi and I make our picks while all the playoff scenarios are still fresh in our minds. That’s why Sunday’s predictions are coming out today for all of you. In this Week 17 space, I’ve always outlined the three types of teams there are now ...

Don’t stop believing Lions fans

The waiting is the hardest part. At least that’s what the late Tom Petty told us. This is especially true during Christmas season as you have to sit and wait until Christmas Eve to even have a chance to open your gifts, wondering what might be underneath all that wrapping paper. But ...

Every good rule has an exception

At the risk of beating a dead horse — or as the PETA people would like me to say, feeding a fed horse — I want to revisit the go-for-the-win two-point conversion argument just one more time in football. Mainly because I’m going to argue against myself here. Philosophically, I’ve ...

Seattle perfect fit for NHL

Seattle is a truly beautiful place. It’s one of the rare places in the country that gives you the excitement and bustle of a big city, but also can satisfy the nature lover in you with both mountains and the ocean nearby. However, when you think of Seattle, hockey is probably not the ...

It’s time for change in college football

Change is good. It may not seem like it all the time and sometimes it can take years, or even decades, for things to adapt. However, in the end, things always seem to work out for the better. Now it’s time for change to happen again for Division I college football. There have been major ...

Is Rocky IV a classic sports movie?

There have been lots of sports movies made over the years and almost every sports fan seems to have opinions about them. Some are classic tales that still resonate today like “Field of Dreams,” “The Natural,” “Remember the Titans,” “Miracle,” “Hoosiers” and “A League ...

Thanksgiving a time for family and pies

Thanksgiving is the one of the few days of the year where images pop into our minds. There’s terrible football, potatoes, both sweet and mashed, leaves crunching underneath your feet (or in the case of the Upper Midwest, mounds of snow), turkey, cranberries that flow beautifully out of the ...

Thanks for your feedback

Sometimes when one writes a football picks piece for the newspaper, it’s easy to forget that, well, people will be reading it. And while feedback on the column isn’t all that common, it’s often negative, as in “why don’t you pick my team?” or “why DO you pick my team?” (Yes, I ...

Clock is ticking on McCarthy

Mike McCarthy did it again. The Green Bay Packers head coach once again snatched a victory from the hands of defeat Thursday night and in a way, only he knows how. I was on vacation earlier this week, enjoying the sunny weather and the soft sandy beaches of Florida before returning to the ...

The story of the Matts in the hats

There are two smart guys on the Detroit Lions roster and both are named Matt. One was drafted, one was hired, but during games, they wear hats. At times this year, they’ve looked sharp and made you say ‘look at that.’ But last week in Minnesota, the Matts in the hats fell flat. This ...

Maryland finally wises up

Maryland finally did the right thing. It grew a conscience. On Wednesday, the Terrapins fired head football coach and raging lunatic D.J. Durkin, just after announcing that he was returning to the sidelines. It just took football players walking out of a team meeting and protesting on social ...